Last year's infographics craze taught us all some very basic facts about every topic imaginable -- including, in the end, the infographics themselves.

Graphic designers love self-referential whimsy, and they loved making fun of the often amateurish data visualizations, using the infographic designers' own format against them.

So here are 16 meta-infographics that mock, defend or explain infographics.

You can click through most of these for bigger, easier-to-read versions.

Infographics mocking infographics


Diagrams Rule
by Think Brilliant
This is my personal favorite, because it looks like there's so much stuff going on, but there really isn't. As you'll see, most meta-infographics make the same jokes, not adding much that hasn't been done before - which, of course, is appropriate.
Infographic - Diagrams Rule



Infographs Are Ruining the Internet by Less Everything
This whimsical specimen was introduced with a caveat:
Our illustrations were done by "derri_hasmi at yahoo.co.id", although proofreading the infograph before you publish is recommended. If you wanted real data, just hire a virtual assistant to find the data you need for $3 an hour. This infograph took us 15 minutes of communication time and $150 to the illustrator.
Infographic - Infographics are ruining the internet




The number of "Infographics" I've seen this week by Phil Gyford (tweaked by Paul Mison)
Another favorite of mine, very clean, very centered on commentary.
Infographic - Infographics I've seen this week




The Ultimate SEO Infographic
by Rishi Lakhani, Explicitly.me

God, I'm such a sucker for intentionally crappy designs.
Infographic - SEO




Big Graphic Blueprint by Nathan Yau, FlowingData
This design is so crisp and bright that I'd believe any data you stuck into it. Which is lucky because...
Infographic - important big words



Infographics and Digg (parody of above), anonymous
Some Digg user saw the above infographic on Digg and specialized it. This was in 2010, when Digg was getting hammered with infographics. Note the cartoons at the bottom, taken from the popular (and arguably overrated) infographicy comic site "The Oatmeal."
Infographic - Digg loves infographics



Infographics Are Beautiful by Annie Pettit, LoveStats
When I write up my Listicle About Listicles, rule 4 will be "Pack the mediocre examples in the middle." But this one has a certain homemade charm, a je ne sais graph.
Infographics are beautiful



The Insipid World of Infographics by Will Lybrand, WillLybrand.com
The references at the bottom are a nice touch. So is the note that a Denny's menu is an infographic.
Insipid world of Infographics




Critical Data by Lunchbreath
Rimshot!
Infographic - potato.




Infographics explaining how infographics took over the internet


The Truth About Infographics
by Tanner Ringerud, BuzzFeed

Urlesque covered this monster from BuzzFeed before. It's by far the most informative meta-infographic, explaining how search-engine optimization teams used infographics to drive traffic (and legitimizing links) to their clients' commercial sites from Digg and other social sites.
BuzzFeed - The truth about infographics



How Infographics Pwned Digg by Matt, Datadial
I'm not even sure how the second half relates to the first half. Confusing data overload!
How infographics pwned Digg




Infographics in Digg by Web Sudasa
That's one unintentionally sexual title.
Infographics in Digg




Infographics encouraging you to make infographics


Infographics
by Bailey Gardiner, Don't Drink the Kool-Aid

Three pieces of data! Three opinions! One joke!
Infographics


Why Infographics Accelerate Decision Making by Darning Pixels
This is the most emotional meta-infographic.
Why infographics accelerate decision making



Infographics by Mark Dorn, EFM
The timeline is actually kind of cute, but this infographic exhibits many symptoms mocked above: The vague sourcing of Wikipedia, the pie charts expressing super-simple information, the not-so-helpful Venn diagram.
EFM infographics



Creating Infographics for Your Training by Trina Rimmer, Mindflash
And finally, a super-boring infographic that lays out common sense. What a letdown, amirite? Pretend the "process" chart is a racetrack. Zoom zoom!
Creating Infographics for Your Training